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Discussion Starter #1
My Shadow is a breed which is prone to this condition.

I hate these things. He always seems to have 2-3 small comdones. Right now, he has 3 small ones and 1 large one. The 4th little one ruptured on Sunday, so wash hands, shave the area, clean with betadine, express the remaining contents, clean again, apply a triple anti-biotic and monitor. This morning all is ok. No swelling or redness or tenderness. Healing is progressing. But he has a bald spot at the base of the neck between the shoulder blades. The spot will fill in a couple weeks.

I know these are not harmful to the dog and generally remain small. The large one is about the size of marble. I'd like to take a sharp, sterile knife to rupture it, drain, ........to get it gone and healed. In the past, he has had one removed surgically and 2 that have ruptured on their own. He has also had 3 hot spots. He always seems to have a bald spot in his coat for one reason or another. My point is I have experience with treating his skin problems. Fortunately, Shadow is very patient during the treatment.....he knows the routine and gets his favorite treat during with a jackpot when treatment is complete.

I have done a significant amount of research on prevention. I know the miniature schnauzer is prone to this condition. The experts have not been able to identify a cause or prevention of this condition. Some claim diet, or grooming or allergy, or heredity........ lots of conjecture, little fact.

Currently, Shadow is fed a good raw diet, deshed/brush/comb 2-3X each week, bath 1-2X each month, coat is clipped each month, no parasites...... I will be shifting his coat from clipped to stripped beginning in December. I don't like treating the problem, I'd rather prevent the problem.

I'm open to suggestions. I'm running out of ideas to try.
 

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I didn't know what a comedone was and had to look it up. Have never heard of such a thing on a dog but have had them myself, although so small nothing like them would be noticed amid a dog's fur, and I had to do something to get rid of each one. None ever ruptured. One of my horses had a sebaceous cyst that ruptured, though, and I assume that's similar to what you're describing.

However, hot spots I do know about. Hot spots are the reason my girl Story is eating a raw diet. They were always a problem, but she got to where as I was treating one, another would appear, and at that point I was so frustrated I had allergy testing done. Of course she tested positive to a bunch of environmental things I can't do much about, but she also has a good many food allergies, or as I now understand it, what should probably be considered food sensitivities.

In her case (which I think is different from most dogs), only one meat protein tested for was a problem. However, about everything else added to dog food was - all the grains, peas, potatoes, and even some supplements like alfalfa. So if there's a kibble without something in it she's reactive to, I couldn't find it, which meant raw. And the constant hot spots did clear up. Not that she's never had another, but it's now two or three a year instead of that many every few weeks.

As a bonus, her ears are much cleaner. She never had an ear infection, but I cleaned her ears weekly and always got 4-6 cottons pads covered with brown gunk from each ear. The other dogs I have only get their ears cleaned now and then when I think of it, and they're never like that.

Also, her eyes were always drippy, and while that hasn't cleared up, she's gone from often having tear tracks right down her face to rarely having that and mostly just a little too much extra tearing at the corners of her eyes.

So I don't know how universal it is or if the info is of use to you, but for us, the allergy testing was worthwhile. I had the blood test done and had it done at a lab a friend recommended as producing consistent results on follow-up tests done on her dogs. She said she didn't get consistent results from the lab commonly used here in Colorado at the state university. I doubt if I'll have Story retested unless her problems return.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The contents of these things is similar to a greasy toothpaste in color and texture. I was a bit squeamish on the first one, but the vet showed me how to express the contents and treat. She actually talked me through the treatment of the ruptured cyst. Then she verified my work. She taught me how to recognize a sebaceous cyst and how to recognize infection or a change in appearance or texture.

Some breeds are prone to comdones, mini-schnauzer is one of several. The breeds seem to be the double coated non-shedding types as most susceptible.

The hot spots appear infrequently, about 1 each year. They really aren't a big deal if identified and treated early. I'm sure the dog thinks hot spots are a big deal, so sensitive and tender. Shadow is also on raw food. I never have excavated stuff from his ears except hair, although they are cleaned every bath.
 

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Yes, one hot spot a year isn't a big deal except for when it first pops up. I never thought of the toothpaste comparison. What came out of the cyst on my horse seemed to me like creamed cottage cheese. Yucky no matter how you describe it.

I've heard of Poodles having sebaceous adenitis and that it's genetic and can be tested for because it was a factor in a dog mystery I read by Laurien Berenson, but didn't know other non-shedding breeds tended toward this kind of thing.

I know you feed raw, but I thought my experience worth mentioning in case. My friend who recommended the allergy testing lab also feeds raw, and one of her dogs is allergic to beef. The only meat the testing found as a problem for my girl is venison, which she never had except as jerky treats, but I suppose that's enough to trigger a reaction if there's going to be one. As I said, the list of grains, veggies, and legumes she showed as reactive to was long, and the kibble she was on did have potatoes and peas.

Story's constant hot spots stopped as soon as I made sure she wasn't getting anything listed as a problem. At least she's not like some poor dogs that end up needing exotic meats to control really bad digestive and other problems. At 85 pounds, feeding her kangaroo and ostrich would probably bankrupt me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm so glad I don't need to feed exotic meats like that. Shoot, its difficult as it is just to find affordable meat for me or the dog.

Generally, I feed frozen, skinless chicken breasts. I mix beef or other meats as I can. Pork in China is through the roof in cost. The downside is the Pork price is driving everything else up.

In the last 2 months, the cost of the chicken has increased over 32%. I don't buy pork anymore.

I'm going to contact my Vet about the large marble sized sebaceous cyst. Its been stable for over 1 year, not growing, not shrinking, no signs of infection...... Although, I still want it gone.

I know that cyst itches like crazy. Every time I pet in that area, hind leg goes into scratching mode. Shadow just gives me a look of "Why?"
 
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